Conoco Tops Prudential List For E&P Results
For the second year in a row, Houston's Conoco tops the list in
exploration and production results for 1999 in a comprehensive,
comparative performance analysis of the major integrated energy
companies by Prudential Securities.
Prudential compared 13 energy companies worldwide using nine
criteria for its 1995-1999 period, a study done last year by
Schroder & Co. In the Prudential report, Conoco placed in the
highest tier for five of the nine performance criteria: production
income, quality of earnings, cash flow, production replacement
ratios and upstream returns. Other criteria rated adjusted
production costs, depreciation, depletion and amortization
expenses, finding and development costs and discounted future net
Other companies to make the list included Royal Dutch/Shell,
Exxon, Chevron, BP Amoco, Marathon, Texaco, UNOCAL, Amerada Hess,
Arco, Mobil, ELF and Phillips.
When Conoco began 1999, oil and natural gas prices were low, so
company officials decided to upgrade the asset portfolio of its
upstream operations. At the same time, Conoco achieved industry
leading production growth, and total production increased 9% from
1998, to 636,000 BOE/d, mostly because of a field in the North Sea,
the Petrozuata heavy oil joint venture in Venezuela and in the Ursa
field in the Gulf of Mexico.
Upstream also continued with a strong record of exploration
success, and of the 20 wildcat exploration wells drilled, 50% were
potentially commercial --- its best success rate in 30 years.
Significant discoveries were made in deepwater Gulf of Mexico,
Indonesia and the United Kingdom.
"1999 was an excellent year for Conoco's upstream business,"
said Rob McKee, executive vice president of exploration and
production for Conoco. "We achieved record earnings, industry
leading production growth, outstanding exploration success and our
best safety performance on record."
Conoco now holds the sixth-largest deepwater acreage position in
the Gulf of Mexico, with more than 300 leases in waters more than
1,000 feet deep.
Carolyn Davis, Houston